The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes

It’s a writer’s job to create compelling characters who can withstand life’s fallout without giving up. But building authentic, memorable heroes is no easy task. To forge realistic characters, we must hobble them with flaws that set them back while giving them positive attributes to help them achieve their goals. So how do writers choose the right blend of strengths for their characters–attributes that will render them admirable and worth rooting for–without making it too easy for them to succeed?
 Character creation can be hard, but it’s about to get a lot easier.

Inside The Positive Trait Thesaurus, you’ll find:

* A large selection of attributes to choose from when building a personality profile. Each entry lists possible causes for why a trait might emerge, along with associated attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions

* Real character examples from literature, film, or television to show how an attribute drives actions and decisions, influences goals, and steers relationships

* Advice on using positive traits to immediately hook readers while avoiding common personality pitfalls

* Insight on human needs and morality, and how each determines the strengths that emerge in heroes and villains alike

* Information on the key role positive attributes play within the character arc, and how they’re vital to overcoming fatal flaws and achieving success

* Downloadable tools for organizing a character’s attributes and providing a deeper understanding of his past, his needs, and the emotional wounds he must overcome

If you find character creation difficult or worry that your cast members all seem the same, The Positive Trait Thesaurus is brimming with ideas to help you develop one-of-a-kind, dynamic characters that readers will love. Extensively indexed, with entries written in a user-friendly list format, this brainstorming resource is perfect for any character creation project. Click for a preview at Amazon (contain an affiliate link)

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William Chambers
William Chambers
8 months ago



[…] visas möjliga positiva attribut (tagna från författarnas ”Positive Trait Thesaurus”) och brister (från författarnas ”Negative Trait Thesaurus”) som såret kan ge upphov till. […]

Scholarly Article
2 years ago

This is an invaluable writing tool and one I know I will refer back to whenever I need to create characters. I loved how the authors laid it all out and simplified how to create characters in the beginning and then followed it up with a comprehensive list of positive attributes that offer possible reasons the character may have developed that trait. What a great way to spark ideas and get to the heart and soul of each character!


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[…] have Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s writer’s resource, The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes. I chose 24 character traits from their list and wrote thoughts the characters with these traits […]


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[…] Know your characters. I’ve said this before, but everything comes down to character! Let’s say your character kicks a puppy and smiles. If he’s stereotypical evil, readers might already guess he smiles. If he’s the hero, readers might need to know he smiles when he kicks puppies. For help developing characters, check out The Positive Trait Thesaurus. […]


[…] of three bestselling resources, The Emotion Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, The Positive Trait Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws. A proud indie author, her […]


[…] again have helped focus my thinking – this time in the area of characterisation.   They are The Positive Trait Thesaurus and its counterpoint for negative traits – basically lists of the characteristics that make […]


[…] Helping Writers, thanks to the research and practice we put in while writing our negative trait and positive trait thesaurus books. Here are some tips we’ve learned on how to write believable and interesting characters […]

Emotion-Charged Settings - Community : Community
6 years ago

[…] Ackerman is the author of the bestselling writing guide, The Emotion Thesaurus, and most recently, The Positive Trait and Negative Trait Thesaurus books. Centering on the light and dark side of a character’s […]